The legislative session has begun and the topic of vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, tax credits and other measures that would divert money away from public schools is being discussed throughout the capitol. Many legislators are claiming they haven't heard from their districts on these issues or that none of these proposals would impact their schools. Some legislators are under the impression that some proposals would not impact their schools.
It is critical that superintendents contact their legislators ASAP and voice their opposition to any legislative proposal that allows or creates vouchers in any form.
Talking points for opposition to these proposals include:
- Vouchers eliminate public accountability for student academic outcomes and financial responsibility
- All vouchers, tax credits, and taxpayer savings grants divert public money from all public schools
- Vouchers leave behind many students, including those with the greatest needs
- Studies show that the few students served by voucher programs do not perform better academically than students in public schools
- Vouchers give choice to private schools, not parents
- Private schools are not required to accept vouchers
Unanswered questions to ask legislators:
- Will private schools that receive state aid in the form of vouchers be eligible to request additional funds to provide the necessary services required for special high needs students?
- Will a private school that receives state aid in the form of a voucher be required to comply with the same regulations as public schools?
- Will a private school be subjected to the same accountability standards as public schools?
- Will a private school retain the right of student refusal based on disability, academic achievement, religious beliefs or discipline?
- Will a private school receiving students that are eligible for free and reduced meals be required to offer meals under this federal program?
- Will private schools retain the right to charge tuition above the value of the voucher?
- Will vouchers (tax payer savings grants) limit the religious instruction (Christian and Non-Christian) offered in private schools?
- Will the state offer vouchers/tax payer savings grants for all students currently enrolled in private schools or home schooled?
- Will voucher funds (tax payer savings grants) be allocated by average daily attendance, requiring private schools/home schooled students to report daily attendance with required hours of instruction to receive the funds for that day of instruction?
- Will the private school/home schooled students have to reimburse the state if the student(s) withdraw from the private school during the year and wish to re-enroll in the public school?
- Will private schools be required to participate in the State’s PEIMS reporting system?